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Concrete Sinking? These Three Common Options May Not Be Long Lasting

Does your sidewalk, driveway, or patio pose a tripping hazard by having uneven surfaces or cracks? Not sure which solution is best for you and your family? We believe it is important to know the causes of sinking concrete in order to understand why three commonly recommended solutions may not solve the issue.

Concrete slabs in a homeowner's driveway is uneven.

The Causes of Cracked and Settling Concrete

There are two common causes of cracked or settling concrete: concrete that is poured over recently backfilled soil and erosion of the soil under the slab. Concrete is heavy. When a new home is built, soil is backfilled and sidewalks, driveways, and patios are poured directly on it. Overtime, the dirt settles and the concrete sinks. Also, water can seep through the cracks and flush out the soil underneath. Following are three repair options that can help, but may not last in the long run.

Repair Option #1: Concrete Replacement

Replacing concrete that may not need replacing is not only very expensive and time consuming, but it does not solve the underlying issue. The settling or eroded soil will still be there once the new concrete is poured over it; therefore, it is likely to continue settling over time.

Repair Option #2: Mudjacking

Mudjacking involves pumping a mortar-based mix (water, soil, sand, and cement) under the settling concrete and takes several days to set before the concrete can be used again. It requires drilling of large holes in the concrete and adds extra weight to the already settling soil. Not to mention, the mixture can wash out in the same way as existing soil. This may result in compounding the issue rather than fixing it.

Repair Option #3: Re-Leveling Grout

Like mudjacking, re-leveling grout adds additional weight and may do more harm than good. Moreover, additional grout may not bond with the existing slab, so there is a possibility it could dislodge. This process does not address the original issue of settling concrete either

When faced with difficult decisions such as these, it is important to understand all of available options and what the long-term advantages are to each. The most desired solution is the one that is most efficient, cost effective, and long lasting. For more information on concrete settlement repair, Woods Basement Systems, Inc. offers free, warrantee-guaranteed quotes. 


About the author

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Kimberly Sletten
Kim Sletten is the Public Relations Coordinator for Woods Basement Systems, Inc., and a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. She has a bachelor's degree in Strategic Communications with a focus in advertising and public relations.

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